The election season is almost over, and the ever-lengthening shopping season along with the time-honored tradition of paying off Christmas presents for three years has begun. Have we paid off 2018 and 2019 yet? Don’t know, a lot has happened in the past few years and honestly, some of it has been a blur.

We have almost gotten over the time change BS so we’re not yawning as much in line at Walmart. The days are getting shorter, and we wonder if there will there be enough daylight to properly spend ourselves into the basement of debt once again this year.

BTW, how’s the good ole Earth doing? Before we answer here’s a short quiz to take your mind off the early shopping deals.

What is a ‘solstice?’

A, A patch for a wound

B, In the northern hemisphere Earth’s axis is pointed away from the Sun bringing less light and colder temperatures, thus giving us the longest night of the year.

C, When the Earth tips a little too far on its axis, some idiot on Twitter pronounces it the Devil’s work and says we’ll get swallowed up in hell if one more state gives gays and lesbians equal rights.

The answer is ‘C’. Tune in to any extreme news outlet for their year-end update on natural catastrophes and other extreme ‘end of days’ malarkey. (Malarkey: a word used by those born early in the last century) Note to self: the actual slow march to the ‘end of days’ is happening now as our oceanic fish supply ingests tiny plastic morsels from endless 6 packs of Mountain Dew packaging. Has the hint of cellulose in your deep-sea Cod makes it taste like a leftover from last month yet?

No matter, the winter solstice arrives at 5:11 p.m. on Dec. 21, marking 4 of the shortest shopping days until Christmas.

The solstice has been celebrated since the middle-ages when malls would close early due to less light and cause people to shop in the dark. Shopping in those days meant going around with a club and taking whatever, you wanted. The word ‘Solstice’ is derived from the Greek with ‘Sol’ meaning ‘sun’ and ‘Stice’ meaning consumer driven economy.

The big news is the amount of daylight of the tilt in the Earth’s axis of rotation as the sun appears to rise and fall in the sky throughout the year. This is not news to the States that have legalized marijuana. Cannabis users in those states have been burning small sacrifices to the sun as it moves across the sky rising and falling slower or faster depending on the strength of that weed. At the actual time of the solstice, the sun stops going south and pauses, motionless. Then after solstice, it is again moving northward in the sky each day.

The National Science Foundation tells us this momentary pause does not mean that the sun is angry and has refused to move because of any bad things we’ve done on Earth. No, the Sun will continue to bring its warmth and glow until the day when it grows into a red giant and overtakes whatever civilization is left. If we have traveled to Mars by that time, we’ll be well on our way to destroying that planet as well. Happy shopping!

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Buzz Fleischman is a Humorist and singer/songwriter of ‘irregular songs for regular people’ and a character actor who has appeared in and voiced TV commercials and radio. He currently hosts and produces the interview show “On the Record and Off the Wall’. Buzz was the humorist on the NPR affiliate WLRN for 12 years and has been a featured speaker for significant local and national conferences, conventions and organizations. He is a docent at the Curtiss Mansion and is fascinated by the history of Miami Springs and its interesting residents.


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